Today’s Great Migration away from religious institutions is good news, if you think about it. Our most ancient struggle is between religious traditions and God’s Word, and all religious persecution was ignited by the traditionalists.
Anyone with a primitive knowledge of religious history should not be surprised that Cain was the father of both religious tradition and murder (see Genesis 4). Thus, the very first child to be conceived and delivered in our fallen condition tried to impress God with his own strength, so he brought a sacrifice of fruits and vegetables, since he was a farmer (and a good one). Unfortunately, only a blood sacrifice could impress God, according to His Word, which was clearly demonstrated by Able, Cain’s brother. Able’s sacrifice was accepted by God because it necessitated a death—it was a picture of the coming Jesus Christ, who would give his life as a sacrifice for man’s sin.
Did Cain care about God’s Word? Most definitely—so much, in fact, he murdered his innocent brother for doing nothing more than listening to God’s Word. Cain cared about God’s Word enough to suppress it through murder, which also typifies the history of religion. Traditionalists are always jealous of the good fruit produced by God’s Word, since their empty traditions are so boring and useless, by contrast. Despite fervent efforts, religious traditions do not fare well, history says, and so does the Bible:
“By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice… and though he is dead, he still speaks.” Hebrews 11:4
The traditionalists cannot suppress the truth about their dead traditions for very long when people start opening God’s Word and living a fruitful life
The same pattern held true for Jesus, who was killed by jealous traditionalists. His story of the Prodigal Son is the story of a rigid traditionalist pesecuting a non-conforming (and dirty) little brother, but the dirty little bugger was closer to God than the rigid traditionalist. Jesus emptied their synagogues because He taught God’s Word:
“The people were amazed at Jesus, because He was teaching them as one having authority, unlike their scribes.” Matthew 7:29
The Catholic Conundrum
The Roman Catholic Church is one of the oldest curators of religious traditions, and the Vatican is facing a collection of crises defending traditions which never came from God’s Word. Priests cannot marry, even though the first “pope” (so-named in Catholic tradition) and all the Apostles were married (see 1 Cor. 9:5).
It’s really no secret their tradition is failing miserably when the Vatican is paying as much as $4 billion across185 American diocese in lawsuits for the pedophile molestation perpetrated by “celibate” priests—obviously “celibate” is tantamount to “sexual frustration”, and little more. A bishop was recently sentenced to prison for covering up the dirty secrets of this failed tradition, yet the traditionalists will never question whether their tradition is causing more harm than good. No other Christian denomination on the planet forbids marriage, and they aren’t doing bad. Even with a severe shortage of priests (who wants to be celibate?), they still won’t question it. Such is the zeal driving religious tradition.
Now a huge association of nuns—50 million strong—is at odds with Vatican tradition over their view of women. Unfortunately, their war is “tradition versus tradition,” as the nunnery describes it, rather than tradition versus God’s Word. The nuns have no authority with the Vatican if they simply invent a new religious tradition. Their cause is doomed.
How will “The Church” (as Roman Catholicism calls itself) ever dig its way out of the countless traditions it has adopted over the millennia? How many more lawsuits must it pay before it relents? Their task is not easy—once you elevate yourself above God’s Word and declare yourself the fountain of God’s Truth, backtracking is a problem. If they let priests marry, it would be an admission that all those celibate priests beforehand were sacrificing for nothing.
God’s Word, on the other hand, has no such problem—everything He told us is still valid today, especially His Word on celibacy: What it calls “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” includes “men who forbid marriage which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1,3) It seems that “doctrines of demons” makes it clear how God’s Word views such restrictions, but we could always find more, because this is a big, big deal:
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. Colossians 2:20-23
If God’s Word is so clear about useless, manmade traditions, how did Traditional Religion perpetrate such blatant overrides? Traditionalists simply outlawed the Bible! How ironic it is “The Church” claiming to preach God’s Word also made it illegal to possess a Bible!
Beginning with Cain, the keepers of Religious Tradition are enamored with the greatness of man, whereas God’s Word is the story of the mercy of God. Even when they start with the Bible, the Traditionalists add layers of useless, empty rituals designed to impress God and win His favor, but what a waste of time!
“I desire compassion, not sacrifice,” says God’s Word. “Compassion” does not describe the history of Traditional Religion, but hate, jealousy and murder does describe it. Why? Because Traditionalists always extol their traditions above everyone else—above “the profane”, and even above God’s Word.